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Housing Busts and Household Mobility: An Update

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  • Fernando Ferreira
  • Joseph Gyourko
  • Joseph Tracy

Abstract

This paper provides updated estimates of the impact of three financial frictions - negative equity, mortgage lock-in, and property tax lock-in - on household mobility. We add the 2009 wave of the American Housing Survey (AHS) to our sample and also create an improved measure of permanent moves in response to Schulhofer-Wohl's (2011) critique of our earlier work (Ferreira, Gyourko and Tracy (2010)). Our updated estimates corroborate our previous results: negative equity reduces household mobility by 30 percent, and $1,000 of additional mortgage or property tax costs reduces household mobility by 10%-16%. Schulhofer-Wohl's finding of a slight positive correlation between mobility and negative equity appears due to a large fraction of false positives, as his coding methodology has the propensity to misclassify almost half of the additional moves it identifies relative to our measure of permanent moves. This also makes his mobility measure dynamically inconsistent, as many transitions originally classified as a move are reclassified as a non-move when additional AHS panels become available. We conclude with directions for future research, including potential improvements to measures of household mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2011. "Housing Busts and Household Mobility: An Update," NBER Working Papers 17405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17405
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "You can take it with you: Proposition 13 tax benefits, residential mobility, and willingness to pay for housing amenities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 661-673, October.
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    5. Modestino, Alicia Sasser & Dennett, Julia, 2013. "Are American homeowners locked into their houses? The impact of housing market conditions on state-to-state migration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 322-337.
    6. Quigley, John M., 2006. "Urban Economics," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt0jr0p2tk, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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